AFRICA OVERLAND TOURS: The African Adventure Travel Guide to East and Southern Africa - overland truck tours and camping safaris.

Africa Overland Tours » African Encounter Southbound

Beginning our overland tour with some relaxing days on Zanzibar's dazzling beaches we then travel to picturesque Lake Malawi.

From there we take in the sight of the magnificent Victoria Falls before journeying to the tranquil lagoons and waterways of the Okavango Delta.

We then travel to Namibia's desolate coastline and dramatic desert before ending our trip at the foot of Cape Town's famous Table Mountain.

Thi overland tour is the perfect combination of diverse scenery, rewarding wildlife watching and time at leisure on the beach.

Tour Details

  • Tour Price:
  • WAS: ZAR 25 900 per person (NOW: ZAR 18 130)
  • Local Payment: USD 1 190 per person
  • Start: Dar es Salaam
  • End: Cape Town
  • Duration: 36 days
  • Departure Point: Dar Es Salaam - Kipepeo Campsite, Plot 4, Mjimwema, Kigamboni
  • Check-in: 07h30
  • Departs: To be advised at Check-in
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Group Size: Maximum 30 passengers
  • Safari Vehicle: Overland Truck

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (B)

A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the 'Spice Island'' where we have the option to spend the next 3 nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join us to replace those that'll leave us at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.

Please Note: Accommodation and Meals are for your own account whilst on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own. The Trip Leader joins you and can arrange your accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants.

* For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam.

Days 2 & 3: Zanzibar

History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire if you'd like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover's paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.

Day 4: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (D)

Leaving Zanzibar, we return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam.

Day 5: Dar es Salaam to Iringa (B / L / D)

This morning we leave Dar es Salaam and head south. We pass through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. We travel towards Iringa where we spend the night in a beautiful rustic campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!

Days 6 to 10: Iringa to Lake Malawi (Malawi) (B / L / D)

Taking in the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we head towards Malawi entering the 'Warm Heart of Africa' through the border post at Songwe.

Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. We travel the length of the western side of the lake, stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next 5 days.

Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax on the pristine white beaches. Malawi's temperate climate allows for swimming in the clear blue freshwater lake all year round. Explore the beautiful shore where you'll happen upon the local fishermen sorting their catch. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced and to appreciate their boating skills, try to paddle a dug out canoe yourself! The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi's shores offer many optional Excursions including a variety of water sports, horse back rides and a visit to the local village and school.

Day 11: Lake Malawi to Chipata (Zambia) (B / L / D)

From Lake Malawi, we cross into Zambia where we spend the night in a beautiful little campsite just 10 km after the Malawi/Zambia border.

Day 12: Chipata to Lusaka (B / L / D)

From Chipata, we head south to Lusaka to our campsite on the outskirts of Zambia's capital city, Lusaka. The campsite is home to some local wildlife including Africa's largest antelope - Eland.

Day 13: Lusaka to Livingstone (B / L / D)

An early morning start sees us head south to Livingstone. Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it's not difficult to see why. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! The Falls can be viewed from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia - a fantastic photo opportunity. Tonight we have the OPTION of enjoying a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi.

Day 14: Livingstone to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (B)

We leave Zambia and cross the Victoria Falls Bridge and the Zambezi River, entering into Zimbabwe at the town of Victoria Falls. Here in Africa's adventure capital, we set up camp in the town's centrally located campsite. The Falls can be viewed from the Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe - a fantastic photo opportunity. The afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite's swimming pool or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!

Days 15 & 16: Victoria Falls (B on both days)

The next 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. Some of our fellow passengers will leave us in Vic Falls, to be replaced by new passengers joining us for the next leg of our trek.

Optional Excursions include trips into the Zambezi or Hwange National Parks, elephant back safaris, horse back safaris, a visit to the crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at The Elephant Hills Resort.

Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint hearted! All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site. White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Beside the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the 'floats', where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.

Day 17: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park (Botswana) (B / L / D)

After breakfast we cross the border into Botswana and head to Kasane where we set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River. Listen out for the resident hippos! The Chobe River forms a border between Botswana and Namibia and Zambia. This National Park is one of Botswana's premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds.

For the adventurous spirits, there is the option for the Chobe National Park Sleep-out - an overnight experience in the Chobe National park. Spend the afternoon in search of wildlife en-route to the set camp within the park where we spend the evening surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife. In the morning we continue our exploration and after stopping off at the camp for lunch, we meet the rest of the group for the sunset boat cruise.

Day 18: Chobe National Park (B / L / D)

For those not on the Sleep-out, today offers the option of an early morning game drive in the Chobe National Park. An early start sees us spend the morning observing the large herds of wildlife. After our game drive we return to camp for lunch. The late afternoon sees us take a boat cruise along the Chobe River. Elephant, hippo and many bird species can be viewed from the boat while we watch another glorious African sunset.

Day 19: Chobe National Park to Maun (B / L / D)

Today we travel in a south-westerly direction to the southern reaches of the Okavango Delta and our destination, Maun. It is from here that we set off to explore the Okavango Delta.

Day 20: Maun to Okavango Delta (OPTIONAL) (B / L / D)

The Delta is a huge expanse of water, which has travelled from the Angolan highlands, spreading out to form the largest inland delta in the world. Studded with exotic islands, The Delta is renowned for its incredible variety of bird life and animals and is unique to Southern Africa.

Here we have the opportunity to take the optional 3 Day / 2 Night Drive In/Mokoro Excursion into the Delta. From Maun we drive north for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro poler's station. Mokoros are traditional dug out canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who 'pole' them through the reeds. After our guides find us a place to camp, we set off on an afternoon game walk, allowing us to experience The Delta wilderness.

For those who'd prefer not to explore The Delta, you can stay at the lovely campsite relaxing by the swimming pool or challenging each other to a game of volleyball. There is also a crocodile farm nearby that has it's feeding times open to campsite visitors.

Day 21: Okavango Delta (B / L / D)

A day of rest, relaxation and Delta experiences await. Today we have the opportunity to partake in a number of activities including swimming (dependant on area & water levels), game walks, mokoro cruises and even a chance to try our hands at poling our own mokoro!

Day 22: Okavango Delta to Maun (B / L / D)

This morning affords us a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun. We arrive back in the early afternoon and have the chance to complete our picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional sunset scenic flight over The Delta.

Day 23: Maun to Rundu (Namibia) (B / L / D)

Following the Kavango River, we enter Northern Namibia. We stop at Rundu for supplies before heading to our spectacular campsite located on the banks of the Kavango River - complete with 'open air' facilities and the occasional hippo grazing on the lawn!

Day 24: Rundu to Etosha National Park (B / L / D)

From Rundu, we head towards Etosha National Park. Covering 20 000 km2, Etosha is Namibia's premier nature reserve. Situated around the Etosha Pan with a wide variety of animal and bird life, the extensive network of gravel roads affords us the opportunity of accessing even the most remote areas of the park.

Day 25: Etosha National Park (B / L / D)

Today we make our way 150 km across the park, keeping a look out for Etosha's large herds of desert antelope such as Springbok and the famed Oryx. After a full day of game viewing, we spend the evening relaxing at our camp.

Day 26: Etosha National Park to Cheetah Park (B / L / D)

Today's drive is to the Cheetah Park - a private farm dedicated to conserving Namibia's cheetah population. We get to meet the resident cheetahs, a photo opportunity not to be missed!

Day 27: Cheetah Park to Spitzkoppe (B / L / D)

Our departure from the Cheetah Park takes us to the 'Matterhorn of Namibia' - Spitzkoppe. The 1728 m high rock formation, one of Namibia's most recognised landmarks, is well known as an ancient San sacred site. Explore the surrounding area and its San rock paintings. Tonight we bush camp under the African stars.

Day 28: Spitzkoppe to Swakopmund (B / L)

Today we head for Swakopmund. Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants & bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit. Accommodation will be in dormitories. Upgrades are possible, but depend on room availability.

Days 29 & 30: Swakopmund (B on both days)

The next 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. Some of our fellow passengers will leave us in Swakop, to be replaced by new passengers joining us for the final leg of our trek.

Optional excursions include sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and more. An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund.

Day 31: Swakopmund to Sesriem (B / L / D)

Leaving Swakopmund, we head south to meet the Atlantic Ocean at Walvis Bay. Continuing our journey, we enter the Namib-Naukluft Park in one of the oldest deserts in the world. We base ourselves at Sesriem, a great place to experience the Namib and its many moods. A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes reputed to be the highest in the world. Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the top of the dunes, some over 300 m high. We spend the afternoon exploring this amazing area. An optional (and must do) excursion is to walk around the area, learning about the amazing history, geology, flora and fauna from the specialised local guides of Sossus on Foot. They also give us a glimpse into the cultural legacy of the San people. View the sunset from the top of Dune 45 - a truly memorable experience.

Day 32: Sesriem to Fish River Canyon (B / L / D)

After watching the sunrise across this beautiful area we leave the serenity of the dunes and head south to the Fish River Canyon. At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it's the second largest canyon in the world. The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving us access to several viewing points from where we can take in the spectacular vistas.

Day 33: Fish River Canyon to Orange River (South Africa) (B / L / D)

This morning we continue south, where, after a short drive, we reach the Orange River - the natural land border between Namibia and South Africa. We camp at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river. This afternoon we have the option of a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Orange River, affording us the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle.

Day 34: Orange River to Cederberg (B / L / D)

An early morning start see us travel south through the Richtersveld before reaching the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. We spend tonight in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms. We have the opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods or to explore the surrounding beautiful Cederberg Mountains.

Day 35: Cederberg to Cape Town (B / L)

We leave the scenic Cederberg area and travel south towards Cape Town. We travel through the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal before crossing the Piketberg Pass to the Cape's wine growing regions. Our first sighting of the Mother's City Table Mountain across Table Bay means we've reached our final destination. Tonight's accommodation is in dormitories in one of Cape Town's best loved hostels.

Day 36: Cape Town (B)

After breakfast, we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced an overland safari of a lifetime!

We suggest you extend your stay by a few days to participate in some of the exciting activities available here.

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